SLAMERP calls on Govt. to designate rubber as an ‘essential sector’

  • The stimulus package has not been extended to the rubber sector
  • Need to produce medical gloves and agriculture and transport sector tiers
As Sri Lanka responds to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, the rubber exporters today called on the government to designate rubber industry as an “essential service” as the sector provides its products to many industries across the globe. “Rubber sector which brings in around USD 1 billion to the economy, has not yet been recognized by the government. We expect a downturn of about 40% of rubber exports this year and a large number of SMEs are going to get affected through the supply chain. If our exporters are not given the proposed moratorium of six months repayment of loans and working capital loans at 4%, the impact could be even worse,” Director General of Sri Lanka Association of Manufactures and Exporters of Rubber Products (SLAMERP), Rohan Masakorala told ada derena. He explained that the government should step in to facilitate the production of the rubber industry, as they provide sustainable production of niche rubber products like solid tyres, sole crepe for shoes, and high-quality surgical gloves for the global market. “Our members provide medical gloves that has a local demand as well as international demand as hospitals need them. Also we need the agriculture supply chain to move. We produce agriculture tiers and we need to get these supply chain moving,” Masakorala stressed. Masakorala also pointed out that closure of operations will hit day to day wage earners of the sector as companies will have to re-structure production. “We have already got reports that tapping of rubber is slowing down. Thousands of farmers will get affected if the production is halted. Things are not easy for the rubber industry and we expect government to treat all exporters (direct & indirect) in a fair and an equitable manner, through a sustainable policy on export sector,” he said. Speaking further he also stated that their members have expressed disappointment as the government has failed to look at the traditional export sector. “We have written to the Minister of Plantations and Industries to get their attention to these vital sectors of the economy just as the other export industries.” “In fact our industry is also supporting the government by supplying medical gloves to the Ministry of Health to fight Covid 19 in Sri Lanka,” DG explained.  

The post SLAMERP calls on Govt. to designate rubber as an ‘essential sector’ appeared first on Adaderana Biz English | Sri Lanka Business News.

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